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Question
Posted by: Linds | 2006/04/18

Yorky bites garden boy

Hi, I really need your advise. My 2 year old male Yorkshire Terrier keeps on biting our garden boy. We moved into a new house about 6 months ago and we kept the garden boy of the previous owners. He lives on our property full time. We have 2 more Yorkies and a Fox terrier who have no problem with him, but the one Yorky just can't stand him and keeps on biting him on the ankles. It just seems to be getting worse. He initially didn't bite him, just use to bark, but now he's becoming very aggressive. Tonight he bit him on the toe and his toe is so badly cut we thought it necessary to take him for stiches. It's getting out of hand and we don't know what to do about it anymore. I don't know if the garden boy is teasing him, but we've told him not to tease him. We even gave him a water pistol to use for when he tries to bite him, but that has made our Yorky angrier and wanting to bite even more! Any suggestions?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Hi Linds

There is a possibility that the garden boy teased the dog initially. There are 3 important things your garden boy should do. No eye, verbal or physical contact. The dog gets attention like this and will continue doing it. You as the owner should also not reprimand the dog in that circumstance at all. The dog should not see the water coming from anybody. In his mind he should put the behaviour together. Each time I behave like this, the water falls from the sky. Put some citronella oil in the water. When the dog moves off or gets a fright, the people should turn their backs and walk away. You could also use a bunch of keys or a tin with stones in. The most important thing is that the dog does not see it coming from anybody. It has to fall from the sky. You ultimitaly want to cause a startle response.
If done correctly, this will work.

Good luck
Regards
CDV
Animal Behaviourist

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Melbalina | 2006/04/19

The garden boy could be the problem. He might have teased him in the past, which tends to set the precedent - talking from experience. The best is to keep the two apart.

Reply to Melbalina
Posted by: annemariePerha | 2006/04/19

You can buy a muzzle for your dog, or just keep him away from your gardener, which is probably not easy as he lives there full time. Your best bet will be to call in the help of a professional animal behaviourist, who will be able to help. I think that you are probably reacting in the wrong way each time this happens, reenforcing the behaviour (like a toddler in the supermarket) - the dog appears to be out of control, and needs you, the top dog, to take control. The gardener is not the problem. Good luck.

Reply to annemariePerha
Posted by: Acineth | 2006/04/19

You could try squirting him with water, or a citronella collar, or simply making sure he doesn't have access to his victim.

Reply to Acineth
Posted by: Chill | 2006/04/18

I dunno... but I think your garden 'boy' - isn't he actually a gardener? - deserves a medal for not booting this little brat in the teeth. I certainly wouldn't have put up with my boss's dog taking a chunk out of me every time it feels like it.

What you need to do until you figure out a better solution is keep the dog confined so he can't harrass your staff - and make sure your public liability insurance is up to date, because if only your gardener knew it, I'm pretty sure he'd have a claim against you.

Reply to Chill

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